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Place.png Marana
(Black site, Airport)
Pinal Airpark from the air.jpg
IA airport in Arizona. Part of Iran Contra, and possible site where the 911 planes were made into drones.

Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, northwest of Tucson. Just a few miles northwest of the central business district of Marana there is located a CIA air base that has played a central role in many deep state activities.

Marana became the headquarters of all Central Intelligence Agency air operations during the Vietnam War years, when it was the principal continental United States maintenance base for Southeast Asia CIA operations including Air America and Continental Air Services.

It was also used for arms smuggling during Iran Contra and is a possible site where the 911 planes were made into drones.

Paramilitary operations

Intermountain Airlines was a CIA front company infamous for its thinly veiled CIA special ops which included development and use of the Fulton Skyhook, but its cover was its non-scheduled freight and maintenance operations.[1]

One of the notable aircraft assigned to Marana during its CIA years was a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, AAF Serial 44-85531. As of September 1957, the aircraft was registered to Western Enterprises Inc., a paramilitary front company founded by the CIA in 1951 for operations in Taiwan. In late 1957, missions were staged from Kurmitola Air Field in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to parachute agents into Tibet. The aircraft was disassembled for parts at Clark Air Base, Philippines between March and October 1958, and it is believed that this plane was eventually scrapped. The serial number 44-85531 appeared again as registered on another B-17G, 1 September 1960 registered to Atlantic General Enterprise, Washington DC (another CIA front) as N809Z. These registration numbers were then changed to the true numbers of 44-83785. Based again at Marana, this aircraft later flew black operations over Vietnam and was used to retrieve two American agents from an abandoned Soviet scientific base in the Arctic using the Fulton Skyhook in Operation Coldfeet.[2]

Iran Contra

From October 1981, Marana was used as part of Iran Contra, where the CIA would buy weapons on Israel's behalf and place them at the airport ready for pickup. Israel would then fly in chartered cargo planes to pick up the matériel, to be sent to Tel Aviv, from where it would be sent on to Iran, sometimes via a third country.[3]


In 1986, Pinal Airpark opened at the base. Its official function is to serve as a boneyard for civilian commercial aircraft, where the area's dry desert climate mitigates corrosion of the aircraft.[4] Nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the home to the boneyard of retired military aircraft.[5]

The Marana facility was subsequently given[When?] to the CIA contractor Evergreen International Airlines which performed aircraft modification and maintenance at the airfield. Evergreen had a close working relationship with the firm PTech, a firm with connections to the Saudi royal family and Israel’s Mossad and which had contracts to provide computer software support to the Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Justice, FBI, and the Secret Service from 1997 until 9/11. The firm continues to provide software support for classified U.S. military projects.[6]

In his book The Big Bamboozle, Iran-contra pilot and 911 researcher Philip Marshall outlined his theory that scrap airliners from Pinal Air park were transformed into drones for the 911 attack.[6] Marshall was in contact with senator Bob Graham and sending early versions of a new book about 9-11 to him,[citation needed] when on 2 February 2013 he was found shot dead, along with his children and dog, in what the police concluded was a suicide.

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